Sunday, 12 June 2011

A Gay Girl In Damascus: It's A Boy!

Apology to readers

I never expected this level of attention. While the narrative voıce may have been fictional, the facts on thıs blog are true and not mısleading as to the situation on the ground. I do not believe that I have harmed anyone -- I feel that I have created an important voice for issues that I feel strongly about.

I only hope that people pay as much attention to the people of the Middle East and their struggles in thıs year of revolutions. The events there are beıng shaped by the people living them on a daily basis. I have only tried to illuminate them for a western audience.

This experience has sadly only confirmed my feelings regarding the often superficial coverage of the Middle East and the pervasiveness of new forms of liberal Orientalism.

However, I have been deeply touched by the reactions of readers.

Tom MacMaster,
Istanbul, Turkey *
July 12, 2011

This follows a virtual outing of Tom McMaster as "A Gay Girl In Damascus" by The Electronic Intifada earlier today.
Much of the mainstream media is pretending to be scandalised - but as lies of our time go, this one was pretty small-fry and relatively benign.

Update: Gay Middle East runs two pieces Monday by Syrian gay bloggers saying McMaster put their lives in danger;
"I'm so outraged I can't even type well.
"Mr. Tom MacMaster, with due respect, has the audacity to say on the blog he created over the last two years that he did not harm anyone with his fictional writing; I beg to differ.
"Because of you, Mr. MacMaster, a lot of the real activists in the LGBT community became under the spotlight of the authorities in Syria. These activists, among them myself, had to change so much in their attitude and their lives to protect themselves from the positional harm your little stunt created. You have, sir, put a lot of lives, mine and some friends included, in harm's way so you can play your little game of fictional writing..."

* He's based in Edinburgh, but currently claims to be "on holiday".

Update: Good piece by Brian Whitaker 'Gay Girl In Damascus Was An Arrogant Fantasy'


  1. Maybe he's a man trapped in a gay girl's body.
    I see his point, although i don't think it was wise or necessary to pretend to be a woman who was kidnapped to make it, in fact i think it was emotionally manipulative.

  2. Yes, that was most odd - even overlooking the ethics, why could he not see that would increase not decrease interest in the blog and the blogger's identity?